* Posts by coppice

22 publicly visible posts • joined 9 Mar 2010

Newport Wafer Fab blames UK government over 100 redundancies plan


A billion is peanuts on seniconductors

I find it amusing that the government thinks a billion pounds over 10 years represents a meaningful investment in semiconductor manufacturing. Zero makes sense. Give up and avoid waste. 10 billion over a couple of years makes sense. Have a real go at it. 1 billion over 10 years is just money down the drain. 1 billion over 10 years to foster more ARM like companies could make sense, but if manufacturing is your goal it's a bad joke.

A million UK homes still get crappy broadband speeds, groans Ofcom


The public information for our village says fast internet has been available for a long time. If you go to something like comparethemarket.com it start out saying fast internet is available, and only at the final stage of signing up to a particular ISP do they say, "er, whoops, its only 1Mbps where you live". The reality is we are hoping to get 17Mbps next month. I wonder how many places like ours are in the 96% listed as having fast internet?

Level 5 driverless cars by 2021 can be done, say Brit industry folk


@0laf - "I'm also sure there is a market for cars that can drive people who are unlicensed or incapable of driving."

I'm amused that you see those as two separate groups.

Openreach fibre plan for 10m premises coming 'before Christmas'


Re: "Real" fibre?

I had 1G up and down fibre, which could run steadily at 1G both ways all day long, for 6 years. This service was provided by G.PON equipment. Now I've moved to the UK, and I get 1Mbps up/500kbps down on a good day. Welcome to the third world.

G.PON allows for fast balanced up and down speeds. Its a matter of how it is configured. Over 6 years of use the Alcatel G.PON boxes in our 2 apartments hiccuped 2 or 3 times, and needed a power cycle. Those are the interruptions we had. G.PON seems like a very solid system.

LG picks up US smartphone crumbs, gains on Apple and Samsung


43% of new phone sales in the US were iPhones.

29% of devices in general carried Apple Maps.

Spooky ghost town vid perfectly sums up YouTube's 8K playback: It's virtually no use to anyone (yet)


Re: Math - It's hard sometimes

Resolution is a linear measure, not an areal one. 7680 is twice the resolution of 3840, and 4320 is twice the resolution of 2160.

Dish, the FCC, and a sly trick to leave American taxpayers $3bn short


"What dish did is wrong but I have to wonder what other oversights other bidders have been allowed."

What Dish did was right. They are a business, and should be maximising their returns. They are expected to play legal, not play nice. The fault is entirely with people who set rules which would so obviously be gamed. Its almost like they set things up for their pals in industry to be able to legally profit like this, don't you think?

The Glorious Resolution: Feast your eyes on 5 HiDPI laptops


Re: too late, too expensive

I used 4k resolution screens in the late 70s. We are finally back there, and it only took 35 years. :-)

£2k burning a hole in your pocket? Let this 'advanced' DRONE relieve you


Re: Awesome Toy

I think they are referring to controlled vertical descent. Decending too fast into your own wake is a pretty bad idea. There are two solutions to faster descent - move around as you descend, so you keep moving out of your wake, or plummet. One tends to have a better outcome than the other.

Huawei: There'll be BLOOD spilled in the smartphone sector soon


OnePlus One

OnePlus One is hardly a new player. Its just a new marketing ploy from a large established company.

Ofcom will not probe lesbian lizard snog in new Dr Who series


Re: Did the BBC just troll people?

"Some reptiles, such as I thing Crocodiles, can hold their breath for amazingly long periods, so is it really unthinkable that she would have that attribute?"

Reptiles can hold their breath for a long time as they are cold blooded creatures, and don't consume huge amounts of oxygen making heat. Their shared breath would not have sustained the human very long. The plot line has a hole the size of..... er..... well..... a typical plot line.

SpaceX sets new blastoff date for Dragon: 19 May


Re: You have got to admire these guys!

Of course I wouldn't trust something built with 1970s and early 1980s technology. You need 1960s technology for a proven safe journey to the ISS.

LinkedIn edges closer to China with new Hong Kong gaff


What does it take for you to rate a company as a cowboy outfit?

I get about 50 bogus spam e-mails a week from linked in. Its a pity some legal action isn't taken against them. They are no better than any of the other spammers clogging up e-mail systems.


The spam even if you don't join

I have never been to the linked-in site, but I get spammed daily by bogus invitations to join from people I have never heard of. This has been going on since the time linked-in started. Why would anyone who considers themselves professional want to join such a cowboy outfit?

Disk drive crisis: Economists are terrible weathermen


7 manufacturers

There are probably only 3 or 4 disk makers producing leading edge drives, but there are a couple of less well known ones, like Kaifa in Shenzhen, making drives below 1TB. I expect 7 is a realistic number for the total.

Samsung outs 5in Galaxy Note as new smartphone concept


@Adam Will

There has been a 5" Galaxy in our shops for the past month or so. It looks like an oversized Galaxy S II. Maybe it hasn't reached your locale yet.


On sale already?

This is presented as if its something in the pipeline, but it looks just like the 5" Galaxy tablet that is already in the shops. Its hard to tell with Samsung. They have a whole galaxy of things called Galaxy now.

Sony to can MiniDisc Walkman


Sony was only one of many

While Apple dominates the MP3 player market, nobody dominated in mini-disc players. Almost every Japanese consumer electronics maker made mini-disc players by the shed-load in their heyday. If Sony made 22m, the total number must have been impressively large. On the other hand, their heyday was only about a 5 year window at the end of the 90s. I'm amazed to find Sony didn't end production several years ago.

I wonder what percentage of mini-disc players sold in Asia? I assume is was a pretty high figure.

HTC Sensation dual core Android smartphone


People focus on the wrong things

Satisfaction with a phone doesn't come from speed. It comes from having a reasonably low number of annoying qualities, and these are in the details.

My Nexus S, for example, gets 1 out of 10 from me when I'm being generous. It currently sits in a draw at home. I thought I would be safe from the usual Samsung bugginess with a phone where they don't control the software, but I was wrong. Its ringer is so quiet you only hear incoming calls in a quiet room. Its touch screen is buggy, so if you do hear it ring you can't swipe and answer. You have to mess around with the side button to get the touch panel back into a working state, so you can them swipe and answer a call. A phone that can't do ordinary voice calls well has limited value, even if you bought it for all the fancy stuff.

HTC are far from perfect, but their phones generally give you far fewer urges to take a hammer to them.

Google open sources $68.2m realtime comm platform


@Anonymous Coward

If you bothered looking you would see that they haven't opened up G.722. They actually use *my* G.722 code. What they have opened up and given patent grants on is iSAC and a bunch of well proven audio enhancement and echo cancellation stuff they got from GIPS. G.722 and G.711 are just part of the total bundle.

This is great news. Nobody has really produced open source versions of these functions that are world class. The speex library has some of the elements, but they are far from polished, and have specific problems. This could save a lot of work.

Intel wades into smartphone wars


How many car batteries to get those run times?

Anyone can quote long operational times from a battery, if they are sufficiently vague about the size of those batteries.

Yellow Dog Linux licks CUDA


The SpursEngine

@Eddie Edwards,

The SpursEngine certainly is easy to come by, in the form of the card from LeadTek. Its reasonably priced (about $160 retail) and readily available in stores. However, it seems they are just pushing it as a short term video transcoding accelerator, with no planned roadmap.

It took them a while to get a Windows SDK out. It took them over a year to make Linux drivers available. The Linux drivers are binary only for a couple of specific RHEL Linux kernels, which are not up to date ones. LeadTek told me they have no intention to make 64 bit Linux drivers available at all. This doesn't sound like a product line with a bright future.


Your comparison is only reasonable for a very small number of tasks. A lot of tasks can extract a large percentage of the available FLOPS from a SpursEngine. Only a very few tasks have been able to use more than a tiny percentage of the available FLOPS on GPUs. Fermi is supposed to change that somewhat, but we will still have to wait and see. Right now many applications run substantially faster when they are not offloaded to the GPU.

The LeadTek card is half the price you quoted. Are you being ripped off? :-\